In Forbes Travel Guide’s 55th year of rating and recommending the world’s best travel experiences, we’re
awarding more Stars than ever. Our inspectors traverse North America, China and Singapore — and London
beginning in April — to rate hotels, restaurants and spas. Like we did more than a half a century ago,
our professional inspectors evaluate more than 500 standards in service and facility to come up with an
objective score for each property. Only a handful of properties surpass the exacting standards, earning
the prestigious Five-Star award — the industry’s highest service accolade.
Miami emerges as a winner with its first Five-Star hotels since 1996 — Mandarin Oriental, Miami and Acqualina Resort & Spa — alongside its brand-new Five-Star restaurants — Naoe and Mandarin Oriental, Miami’s Azul. And both hotels earned the highest rating for their spas, as well, which makes Mandarin Oriental, Miami a Five-Star property across the board.
Joining Mandarin Oriental, Miami in the full sweep of Five-Stars are Montage Laguna Beach with its restaurant Studio and Spa Montage; The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong and its spa; Mandarin Oriental, Macau and its spa; Capella Singapore and its spa; and Encore Macau with its spa. The Broadmoor, The Grand Del Mar and The Inn at Little Washington all have received this honor for multiple years. In fact, The Broadmoor has retained its Five-Star rating since 1960 — the longest of any property in the world.
With Encore Macau’s new top rating, hotelier Steve Wynn becomes the man with the most Five-Stars. He holds eight Five-Stars and six Four-Stars. Trailing Wynn is Donald Trump, who adds two Five-Stars to his portfolio this year with Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago and its restaurant, Sixteen.
Macau’s luxury properties are in the spotlight this year, with three new Five-Star hotels (Crown Towers; Encore Macau; Mandarin Oriental, Macau) — the most for any single city in 2013. Hong Kong continues to shine with seven Five-Star hotels, two of which are new winners (InterContinental Hong Kong; The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong).
Big U.S. cities are winning, too. Las Vegas snags its third Five-Star eatery with Caesars Palace’s Restaurant Guy Savoy, while Los Angeles acquires its first Five-Star restaurant, Mélisse, since 2006. L.A.’s Hotel Bel-Air, once the swankiest hotel in town, underwent an extensive renovation only to return to its grand splendor. The luxurious hotel (and its La Prairie spa) gains Five-Star status this year, reclaiming its starring role in L.A.’s hospitality scene.
Throughout the U.S., The Peninsula Hotel Group scores nothing but Five-Stars for each of its three hotels. But when it comes to global numbers, Four Seasons has the most Five-Star hotels out of any hotel group with an astounding 11. Overall, The Ritz-Carlton boasts the most rated hotels around the world with 38 total.
When it comes time to relax, count on Mandarin Oriental to supply a top-notch spa experience. The Hong Kong-based hotel group boasts eight Five-Star spas with four in Asia and the rest in the U.S.
When Forbes Travel Guide was founded as Mobil Travel Guide in 1958, its anonymous team of professional
inspectors set out on a newly created U.S. highway system to identify America’s finest hotels and
restaurants. Travel and food experts were called upon to identify the list of properties that should be
inspected (we’re sure more than a few martini-fueled lunches must have been had at 1960 Five-Star Award
winning New York City restaurant 21 Club while creating that list).
Today, we inspect and rate hotels, restaurants and spas in much the same way they did 55 years ago—our professional inspectors evaluate more than 500 standards in service and facility to derive an objective score that serves as a benchmark for what you’ll experience if you choose to stay at our collection of rated properties.
And our inspectors have the experience to back up their evaluations. Our team has worked inside the world’s best luxury hotels and restaurants, and we know how to spot the behind-the-scenes training and operations that contribute to a consistently excellent experience in service and quality. Our inspectors go through the most rigorous training process in the business before they hit the road—and we’re constantly retraining to stay on top of global trends in travel.
Our mission is to define the global standard for excellence in hospitality service and facilities, and to share with you, the discerning traveler, what you’ll experience if you choose to spend your time and money at one of our Star Rated properties. To learn more about our Ratings, click here.
Startle is the home of Forbes Travel Guide, the originator of the Five Star Rating System and the leading
travel authority since 1958. Visit Startle for advice from our inspectors, editors and hospitality experts
to help you plan unique travel experiences.